Kids who play sports consume more healthy and more unhealthy foods. They also consume more calories.

But what if kids consume more calories than they expend playing sports? Being on a sports team could just be a contributing factor to obesity.

(When my daughter played soccor in first grade, she spend more time hanging out on the field than running up and down.)

Sports participation is on the rise: 44 million US children participated in an organized sport in 2008, a 25% increase since 1997. 

Increased sports participation is:

  • An opportunity for good.
  • An opportunity for harm.

The study: Observations of food consumption during Youth Baseball games in a small town in northwest North Carolina.

  • Six teams
  • Boys between 8-11 years old
  • 12 games during one 6-week season

OK. It’s a small study. But the results will jibe with your experiences…I’m sure.

True, practice sessions might be healthier than game-day snacks. After all, there’s no concession stand at practice. Still…

What can you do?

Of course, you could advocate for change.

Become a snactivist. Click here for info from Real Mom Nutrition activist Sally Kuzemchak.

Teach your kids about proportion.

Encourage your children to make choices. Either they can have their junk at baseball or they can have their junk some other time during the day. They can’t have both.’

And, when you’re thinking about what constitutes a treat, I recommend you consider foods that fall under the radar…like waffles.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~

Source: Irby, M. B., M. Drury-Brown, and J. A. Skelton. 2014. “The Food Environment of Youth Baseball.” Childhood Obesity 10(3) June.